New report provides a comprehensive framework for charting the steel industry’s progress to 1.5°C

Leading steelmakers globally are beginning to take steps to decarbonise and low emissions steel options are emerging on the market. But new analysis from ResponsibleSteel demonstrates that radical shifts to reduce emissions by a select number of industry leaders or “first movers” will not be sufficient. The entire steel industry needs to take immediate action to make progress on the journey to net zero. And this progress needs to be mapped out in a universal language.

Today, ResponsibleSteel unveils a landmark report, "Charting Progress to 1.5°C through Certification." Using two base scenarios – the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Net Zero Emissions by 2050, and the Mission Possible Partnership’s (MPP) Carbon Cost – the report offers a detailed mapping of the progress needed for the global steel industry to achieve climate commitments under the Paris Agreement. The report was reviewed in-depth by representatives from the IEA, the Energy Transitions Commission and Systemiq, and has been endorsed by industry, civil society and intergovernmental organisations including the OECD, Baowu Group, the Climate Group, and Lendlease.

According to the analysis, for the industry to meet its Paris Agreement obligations every steel plant in the world needs to be emitting less than today’s average emissions intensity by 2030. In other words, following a 1.5°C trajectory, today’s average emitters will become the industry’s worst offenders by 2030 if they do not take steps now to improve.

Annie Heaton, ResponsibleSteel’s CEO stated, “Transforming the steel industry will require bold and universal action. No one can sit on the sidelines. Our analysis shows how certification can be used both to plan and to track the progress of every site on an equitable basis. Those who are not certified cannot be tracked.”

The ResponsibleSteel International Production Standard is a powerful tool for steelmakers, policymakers, financial institutions, trade organisations, and campaigners, to track and drive the industry’s transition at pace and scale. The Production Standard’s Decarbonisation Progress Levels provide an internationally consistent framework that enables a like-for-like comparison of steel plants globally and incentivises all steelmakers to invest in decarbonised production processes whilst operating in a socially and environmentally responsible way at the same time.

ResponsibleSteel’s analysis of six key steelmaking regions clearly illustrates that there is a pathway for every part of the industry. Regional conditions such as scrap availability, natural resource endowments, climate policies, and available finance will likely impact the speed and nature of industrial change, but there is no room for inaction.

Furthermore, steelmakers must start to look beyond their physical site boundaries. Indirect supply chain-related emissions could make up about one-third of total average sectoral emissions by 2050, so reducing these will prove critical to the steel industry’s transition.

Ms Heaton continued, “ResponsibleSteel provides a trusted apparatus for measuring, comparing, and certifying progress in driving down emissions that steelmakers, buyers, investors, and policymakers can all get behind.”

Read the full report and interactive summary here.

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